New Delhi: With more and more mobile handsets becoming internet-enabled, the opportunity to market destinations to mobile users in India for the travel industry will increase three times in next five years, according to global market research analysis agency ‘Euromonitor’.
Mobile phones will not only be a huge gateway to internet and television advertisers, but also a key distribution channel in India and Asian region alongside the online industry.
The global research agency observed that with the cheapest SMS tariffs in the world, combined with competitive monthly phone packages offering free monthly SMS service, ‘SMSing’ has exploded in popularity across India and the Asia Pacific.
Communication by mobile has also sparked regional growth in travel ‘moblogs’ (mobile blogs) where travellers post text or pictures of their travel experiences on their mobile phone to share with other users.
“The mobile phone revolution in Asia presents a dynamic and convenient channel, especially with SMS messaging, mobile TV, mobile Internet and recently mobile blogging,” says Fiona Jeffrey, Managing Director for World Travel Market.
“With information sharing in the palm of their hands, we expect marketing opportunities for tourism to grow nearly 200% over the next five years,” Jeffrey added.
Indian Railway has already introduced the booking of tickets through the SMS. Several airlines are also in the process of introducing similar service.
In the Asia-Pacific region, Philippine Airlines and Cebu Air provide SMS ticketing and Singapore Airlines sends SMS ticket confirmation services to its local consumers.
Clement Wong, Euromonitor Internationals Global Travel and Tourism account manager explains, “Asians love their phones and as the world’s leading region of mobile phone users, Euromonitor expects it will become the new way of doing business for the travel industry in this part of the world.”
Several regional travel and tourism players have already responded to the importance of SMS as a communication tool.
Australia-based online travel operator, Zuji.com has divisions in Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea and Australia and now sends out tailored SMS promotions to subscribers when deals to desired destinations become available.